I’ve had a ton of people asking me what I’ve been doing since KC. The week after KC I spent in Shetland with the J&S group. I will blog about it, but I have a lot to write (and until recently, hadn’t felt like writing all that much!) However, what I have spent a lot of time doing is spinning. For whatever reason, I get back from KC and Shetland and instead of the spirit moving me to knit, it moved me to spin. First off, I plied a bunch of the samples that I had made at KC and Knit Nation (which I will also write about!) I just Navajo plied them since they were already a mix of stuff and I plan on using the resulting odd yarn in one of my scrapghans. I always make sure that there is at least a little bit of handspun in each one that I make.
Then I plied two bobbins of singles that I had spun (ah-hum) last winter from a fleece that I had gotten at Rhinebeck in 2008. Now, here’s the ironic part of all of this. I took two classes on how to spin laceweight this summer. One at KN and one on Shetland. When I plied these 2 singles that I had spun last year they came out about as fine at the J&S laceweight. Doh! However, I can now spin even finer, so will definitely be spinning more for lace!
Barbro gave both Malin and I a gift of “Wild Fibre Blends”, which is a bag full of bits of silk, wool, sparklies, all sorts of stuff. You are supposed to card it into something to give you a “wild” yarn. It’s not something that I would have normally gotten for myself, so I’m glad that Barbro gave it to me as I had a lot of fun mixing this with some dark Corridale. It made a fun batt which made this:
I also had a batt and a half from Fyberspates. The half was left over from my class at KN and the whole one I purchased over a year ago at the Ravelry Day in Coventry. I spun these both up and Navajo plied them as well.
Then I got into a super sparkle batt that I had gotten at Woolfest in 2009. I learned a couple of important lessons with this one. First off, a good scale is really valuable when spinning. Second, do make a test strand when you are plying. I had decided that this was going to be a 2 ply, so I had weighed the batt and divided it into 2 equal parts which I then spun-up. So far, so good. I then plied the singles making a nice enough yarn, but not what I had been aiming for precisely. I should have just stopped there, and tried something else, but I was fully invested in the path that I had started down. So I kept pressing on, plying and plying until I got to the end of one of the bobbins. There was still a few meters on the other one, so I decided to just Navajo ply it to be done with it. Imagine my dismay when I realized that the Navajo plying was giving me exactly what I wanted! Doh! I think that this is definitely one of those “live and learn” moments!
I also did something that I’m pretty sure is naughty. I was trying to knit a shawl with the sushi roll that I dyed at KC in Jon‘s class and I was getting really annoyed with the little bumps caused by the unraveling of already knitted yarn. So, I yanked the whole thing out and skeined it and then washed it and weighted it to pull out the ridges. I don’t think that doing that in itself is all that bad, but the fact that I didn’t knit it straight from the roll makes me feel a bit guilty. However, it made some really pretty yarn I think!
The other thing that I have been doing is reading, a lot. I got into the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon which starts off in Scotland and kicks around a lot, but is essentially a Scottish story. I had heard about it from my German roommates while at KC and decided to look into it. Well, I’m now on book 5 of the series and given that these bad boys usually run well over 1000 pages… well yeah, it is a bit of a guilty pleasure:-)
*I edited this post to change the title a bit as I realized belatedly that I had already used that one. Opps!